Narendra Modi sworn-in as 15th PM of India

(28 May 2014)  In a much-anticipated celebration, BJP leader Narendra Modi was sworn-in as the 15th Prime Minister of India on Monday.  Modi was swept to power in a landslide as Indians rejected Congress and the Gandhi dynasty in favour of free-market reforms, bureaucratic transparency and deregulation.  Modi now faces the daunting challenge to having to live up to expectations and fulfill the hopes and aspirations of his countrymen. How successful will he be? 

Astrology offers a window on the Modi's incoming BJP administration through the swearing-in horoscope.  The moment that Narendra Modi took the oath marked the symbolic beginning or "birth" to his tenure as PM.  The resulting chart therefore provides clues to not only the nature of his government, but also insights of specific times of triumph and setback.  I would caution, however, that the oath horoscope cannot simply be read as one would read a natal horoscope of person.  In my experience, we have to be more general in our analysis of the oath-taking chart by focusing more on planets and aspects rather  and less on house placements or house rulerships.  By way of comparison, it is useful to look at some documented swearing-in charts of US presidents just to see how these charts work. 

On paper, Ronald Reagan may have the most in common with Modi's promise to move towards free market solutions and away from more a more activist, government-run economy.  Reagan's business-friendly administration represented a sharp break with the previous government of Jimmy Carter.  Reagan's swearing-in chart (Jan 20, 1981 noon) reveals the prominence of the Moon's nodes, Rahu and Ketu as harbingers of change and breaking with the past.  Actually, Reagan was inaugurated on the day of a lunar eclipse when the Sun was conjunct Ketu and the Moon was conjunct Rahu.  Since Rahu and Ketu are associated with situations that disrupt the status quo, this is a very appropriate pattern that ushered in the substantial changes brought about by the supply-side, monetarist Reagan administration after the failure of Keynesian economy theory and "stagflation" in the 1970s.  

Mercury (commerce, trading) is also tightly conjunct an exalted Mars (energy, action) in Capricorn in the 10th house, and therefore underscores the incoming government's commitment to free enterprise and getting the economy moving again.  Jupiter and Saturn's exact conjunction in the 6th house of defense and the military may be seen as a manifestation of a regained confidence in the Cold War and renewed stridency in US foreign policy.  Even if the the house placement is less important here, exalted Mars with benefic Mercury would be a nice astro-signature for a more confident and outward-looking US foreign policy. 

The nodes were also very prominent at the time of the inauguration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1933.  Assuming office in the depths of the worst depression in US history, FDR's New Deal was a more interventionist approach as the government's role in the economy was greatly expanded.  Rahu (North Node) was conjunct both the Sun and Venus in the 9th house in Aquarius while Ketu (South Node) was conjunct Neptune, Mars and more widely, Jupiter.  The nodal influence on all those planets reflected the major changes in American capitalism from the old-style laissez faire approach to a more modern mixed approach. 

The take-away here is that nodes bring about changes.  Whether the changes will be for the better is another question.  The absence of any afflictions on the Moon in this 1933 chart is one reason why the economy started to finally improve during FDR's administration.  Mars was still aspecting the Sun, however, so that suggested more hard times were in store as ultimately the nation only fully recovered when the US entered World War Two in 1941.  Perhaps the key factor in putting a more positive spin on the FDR presidency was that Saturn was not prominent.  By contrast, the inauguration of Herbert Hoover in 1929 -- the year the Depression hit -- had Saturn conjunct the Moon opposite Mars, which was rising in the Ascendant!  A good swearing-in chart therefore is more likely to have the malefics not involved with the Sun, Moon or Ascendant.

Now let's take a look at Modi's swearing-in chart.  He took the oath at 6.13 p.m. IST in New Delhi.  The last degree of Libra is rising and thus an exalted Saturn is there creating a Sasha Yoga.  While Saturn is usually a bad planet, this is not the case here as Saturn does much better in Libra where it is exalted.  This is auspicious for any kind of leadership role and bodes doubly well due to Jupiter's near exact trine aspect to Saturn.  Saturn is perhaps the perfect planet to symbolize Modi, who is known for his simple and frugal lifestyle.  A well-placed Saturn is often found in situations marked by good planning and long-term favourable results. 

In keeping with the theme of change, Rahu is also rising in Libra although it is very far from the Ascendant and Saturn -- more than 20 degrees.  This substantially weakens its effects.  However, we can see that Rahu does cast a very close trine aspect to Mercury, the planet of commerce.  This may be an apt marker for the reforms Modi will undertake to open up many of India's protected and subsidized industries.  Ketu is setting in the 7th house and a tight conjunction with Venus and more widely with the Moon.  This is a stronger connection with the South Node and definitely suggests that Modi will make do on much of his promised reforms.  Venus tends to be concerned with value and wealth, so the Ketu influence indicates the economy is likely to undergo some significant evolution in India.  This is perhaps in keeping with Modi's promise to move the country away from state subsidies and towards a more free market system.  The wider Ketu-Moon conjunction suggests that these changes are also likely to partially take root in the economic mentality and thinking of the average citizen. 

On the negative side, the Moon does receive a fairly close 8th house aspect from malefic Mars.  This could suggest Modi's government could see more conflict during its years in office.  It also suggests that the benefits and upside to his government will be partially offset by problems.  In other words, the economic and social outcomes of Modi's policies may be somewhat mixed.   Mars also forms a close 45 degree angle with the Ascendant so that is another possible source of difficulty.   This raises the risk of violence and conflict to some extent, and (more likely) also suggests there may be significant resistance to his reforms inside the country.  The Saturn-Jupiter aspect is favourable of course, but the Moon has some difficulty and suggests his term will not be completely successful.  The Sun-Neptune square is also cause for some concern as it can correspond with deception and scandal.  It may also reflect some personal health issues that distract from his leadership.

In terms of timing, the transit that stands out most is the Saturn retrograde station at 10 Scorpio in March 2015.  Saturn will station in quite a close opposition to the Sun (11 Taurus) between February and April and may correspond with a significant setback, especially concerning Mr Modi himself, as the Sun symbolizes leaders.  At the same time, transiting Rahu will conjoin the natal Mars.  This suggests there will be a noteworthy conflict and sudden development that causes harm to the country as a whole.  The probability of some kind obstacle is made more likely since Modi's natal Moon (9 Scorpio) will also be activated by this Saturn transit.

Overall, Mr Modi's swearing-in chart looks fairly good.  His administration is likely to at least partially achieve its goals of instituting economic reforms.  How much growth and progress will occur under his leadership is a more difficult question to answer.  The chart is a mixture of good and bad elements.  I tend to think that history will be kind to his efforts, if only because of the very strong position of Saturn in the chart.  But the rather troubled condition of the Moon (conjunct Ketu, aspected by Mars) and the Sun (squared by Neptune) suggests that some of the very high hopes for Modi's government will not be realized.  He may therefore only be partially successful in his political ambition of reforming India.